He was named Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year too, but that’s a no-brainer. It’s the Player of the Year Award that will probably get the Cabreraites a bit miffed:
His all-around performance was stunning enough to put him right in the thick of the American League MVP debate with Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Traditionalists favor Cabrera, but Trout has garnered widespread support through a rare combination of offense, baserunning and superb defense in center field. Trout’s 10.7 wins above replacement (WAR) was the highest for a position player since Bonds posted 11.6 WARs for the Giants in 2001 and 2002.
Trout’s performance earned him another first, becoming the only player to win Baseball America’s Rookie of the Year and Major League Player of the Year awards in the same season.
Of course the Cabrera folks shouldn’t be too upset. The Baseball America’s Player of the Year Award is not a invariable harbinger of MVP awards. Only one award is given out for all of baseball and pitchers win it a lot more often than they do the MVP award. The last time one of BA’s POY’s won the MVP — isn’t that fun to say — was 2009, when Joe Mauer took home the hardware. One of the MVP winners was the Baseball America Player of the Year in five of the last ten years.
Congrats Mike Trout. But Mr. Cabrera should probably still plan on keeping a space open in his trophy case when the MVP is announced.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.